Seed Terminator Hammers Weed Seeds to Death

If death by hammer blow is the best way to kill weed seed at harvest, then make way for the Seed Terminator (ST). The ST grabs chaff leaving a combine’s cleaning shoe and pulverizes the weed seed through Multistage Hammer Mill technology. The destruction is reportedly near total, akin to running seed across the devil’s anvil. Test units are expected in U.S. combines during the 2018 season.

Picture two 44-gallon drums side-by-side. In the center a series of metal flails leads to three screens with varying hole sizes. Chaff material pours in from the top and goes through the entire ST apparatus. As chaff passes through, the flails spin at 2,700 rpm and pound the life out of weed seed before the material pours out the back of the combine.

Mark Ashenden, commercial director, says independent ST research done by the University of Adelaide in 2017 shows at least a 90% kill rate on tiny annual ryegrass seed. Ashenden emphasizes the simplicity of the mechanics, with minimal moving parts involved with shafts, belts and gearboxes.

The patent-pending ST technology was invented by a farmer’s son turned mechanical engineer, Nick Berry: “We have known for decades that hammer mills kill weed seeds if you use a small enough screen. Using small screens limits capacity. The Multistage Hammer Mill overcomes capacity issues of traditional hammer mills by staging the pulverization with large openings that progressively get smaller through three stages.”

The ST uses Aero-Impact technology which reduces turbulence resulting in less wasted energy in generating hot air, according to Berry.

“The Multistage Hammer Mill concept is a well suited coupling with a mechanical drive system because of the screening action. Material must be small enough to pass through the screen. Therefore, seed kill is less affected by changes in mill speed which can drop if the harvester engine revs drop,” Berry adds.

Berry’s duo of a Multistage Hammer Mill and mechanical drive system creates a low power draw allowing for attachment to a minimum of Class 7 combines. Roughly 3’ wide, 6’ long, and 4” deep, the ST takes approximately 28 hours of set-up, but Ashenden says the installation time is dropping rapidly. The device size is uniform, but contains variations in the drive…

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